Cracking food in a cosy village setting

CHRISTMAS seems to come earlier every year. Lights go up, adverts dominate the TV and the rush to shop intensifies as early as October. Sadly, there’s usually something missing from the premature festivities.

Christmas is about more than shopping – it’s about enjoying one another, and a fine place to do so is tucked away in a rural corner of Lincolnshire.

On a frosty November night, my friend and I braved the cold and the dark, winding roads to make our way to Ingham, where we found an idyllic winter retreat in the Inn on the Green.

The Inn on the Green is a traditional and homely pub and restaurant with a warm and welcoming atmosphere – perfect for family get together or those quieter occasions.

As we sat down surrounded by different groups of friends and families, this seemed like the perfect place to escape to and catch up, and so we did.

For a starter, we shared the mini tapas. A friendly and attentive waitress swiftly presented us with a selection of salami, olives, anchovies and bread. It wasn’t too fancy, but it certainly hit the spot.

For a main, after being torn between the battered haddock, the pan roasted duck breast with honey and soya sauce and the Thai chicken curry, we both went for the char-grilled Aberdeen Angus rump steak with chips, mushrooms and tomatoes.

I like my steak medium rare whereas my friend prefers her’s medium – and neither of us were disappointed. Mine was cooked to perfection and my friend shot me a very satisfied look and two thumbs up to signal it was just right for her too. It wasn’t the best steak I’ve had around these parts, but you could do much worse.

The chips are also worth a mention – they were homemade, thick-cut, chunky and mighty filling. They provided that little difference that really lifted the dish. My only real complaint is that the steak was in desperate need of maybe a little peppercorn sauce.

For dessert we shared what they call The Chocolate Nemesis, and I’m glad we did. This was probably one of the richest and most intensely chocolate-y things I’ve ever experienced. Before die, I want this for dessert, but even then I could probably only manage half of it. It was the perfect full stop to a lovely evening.

So when all the Christmas shopping is done, focus on what’s important. For winter warmers, cracking food and a cosy corner to celebrate and unwind with your family, friends and loved ones, you’ll have yourself a very merry time at the Inn on the Green.

By Andrew Trendell